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Teacher Cuts Off First Graders Braid

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What kind of punishment is this?!

Teacher Cuts Off 1st Graders Braid

Dr. Michelle Golland: A Milwaukee teacher punished a first grader by cutting off one of her braids after becoming frustrated when she wouldn't stop playing with them in class. To my shock, this teacher was not removed from the classroom, but little Lamya was moved to another class. Cutting Lamya's braid is equivalent to hitting her, in my opinion.

I am outraged by this teacher's behavior. She was clearly unable to handle the situation in an appropriate manner. I believe she should be placed on suspension from the classroom until this issue is resolved. This teacher humiliated this child in front of her class -- and I believe assaulted her physically by cutting off her braid. Lamya was brought to the front of her class, a pair of scissors was brought close to her face, and her braid was snipped off and thrown into the trash. The school board should look into not only the teacher's behavior, but also the principal at Congress Elementary and her mishandling of this situation.



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11 comments so far | Post a comment now
Sandy December 17, 2009, 6:51 PM

I dont agree that the teacher should have done this. However lets be honest here and admit that some kids just dont listen and are not tought at home to behave and respect their teacher. Its a failure on the parents for not teaching the child to behave.

Caroline December 17, 2009, 8:53 PM

I just don’t see how a little girl playing with her braids in class could be disruptive enough to warrant this sort of punishment.

Michele December 17, 2009, 10:24 PM

Let’s not forget that spanking in public schools is still legal in 21 states! Not Wisconsin, though…

Berne December 18, 2009, 7:01 AM

I think the discipline the teacher received is unacceptable. I am an educator and I believe she should loose her credential and not be allowed to teach. If a little child was that annoying, the teacher should remain professional and utilize the training she has recieved as a teacher to handle her classroom. You cannot blame a parent in this circumstance, especially if she had not been notified of any poor behavior displayed by her child. This time the teacher cut off a braid, what might she do next?

michelle December 18, 2009, 8:34 AM

Seriously Sandy? A SIX-YEAR-OLD. PLAYING WITH HER HAIR. Kids do that when they’re nervous or they’re concentrating, and I know from experience that it is really a kind of tic — you can stop for a while but then a few minutes later you do it again without thinking. I did it myself as a kid and I certainly don’t remember its being a major felony or ever having my hair cut off as punishment. Which brings me to my next point. I really think had she been a white girl playing with her long blond hair or whatever, she would not have suffered this kind of over-the-top punishment. There have been recent studies proving that black children are punished more severely for the same (or lesser) infractions as white children. Even black children who are good students and do something really minor. Zero tolerance actually means zero tolerance for minorities, apparently. I so hope this teacher gets fired and sued for damages.

me again December 18, 2009, 9:11 AM

She should have just hit her, then she’d learn.

MrsAdams December 18, 2009, 9:18 AM

@michelle
The only reason you know from this story that the child was black was from the picture. What if that’s just a picture of a girl with braids? What if Lamya was a white child with two french braids (apparently just one now)? Don’t make something about race when it is clearly about the lack of proper training in effective discipline techniques in the classroom and the stranglehold that teachers unions have on the public school system. For Pete’s sake, you don’t know the race of any of these people. The teacher could have been black. It’s people like you that make racial relations worse by always making race a factor. It’s people like you that claim they are “color blind” but someone’s race is always a factor in your thought process. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Katt Harris December 18, 2009, 11:52 AM

My 5 yo daughter has long blond hair that has not ever been cut, and if a teacher did this to her, I would be having a fit. Girls can be very proud of their hair and to mutilate them in such a way is disgusting. How long is that child going to have to have “lopsided” hair before it evens out again?

Anonymous December 18, 2009, 12:33 PM

MPS are ghetto schools

michelle December 18, 2009, 2:30 PM

@ “MrsAdams”, you don’t know any more about this than I do. And I never claimed to be “color blind.” On the contrary. It is people like you who object to any mention of race because it forces you to face up to the fact that so much racial injustice still exists and is most likely at work here too. You’re just uncomfortable, like maybe you think people should just be quiet and pretend racism in the public schools doesn’t exist. Why do you think this sweet little girl has such a bad teacher in the classroom in the first place? Maybe you’re the one who should be ashamed.

aannoonn December 18, 2009, 9:07 PM

Take the teacher, put her in front of the school, and walk up to her with some nice, sharp, shiny scissors… and cut off a chunk of her hair. She’ll learn.


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